Author Interview: Michael Poeltl

Well, it’s that time again. Now that I have my site back up, I have some author friends and connections that have volunteered to do author interviews. I hope to do one or two of these occasionally to help promote their works and introduce you to some great new books.

This week, I have Michael Poeltl. He tends to venture into the paranormal, taking us all along with him on interesting journeys. Lately, he has stepped just slightly to the adjacent into the realm of science fiction with his latest work AI Insurrection: The General’s War.

Good morning, Michael. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions today. I hope my readers get a chance to see who you are, and a better feel for your writing and creative process.

Okay, so let’s get to it. Your new book, AI Insurrection, is an interesting look at the possible future of automated machinery. What was your catalyst for this story?

A.I. Insurrection first began as a supposition, which became a scene, which then transformed into a short story. It was one I felt compelled to ask my older brother, Ric – an avid sci-fi fan – whether he thought it had legs, and with science fiction being a go-to read for me, it felt natural to want to investigate the genre further. Ric liked what he’d read and offered direction on how the twenty-six-page short might grow into the sizable work of Sci-fi it has become.

I’m about half-way through the book, and really enjoying it so far. I noticed a theme for the machine names you’ve picked. I also noticed where you broke that convention a few times. What was the reasoning for the convention?  Or was I just imagining that?

I’m not entirely sure you were just imagining it. The AI Hosts were given a barcode rather than a traditional name while in the employ of humanity, but those who discovered there was more to live for rejected their ‘slave’ designations and gave themselves names.

Language has the ability to paint pictures and illusions in other people’s minds. What do you find is the most effective way to make the illusion stand up and take shape?

I believe the most effective illusion arises via the written word as it is processed by the reader’s mind. When readers envision the action, settings, emotion and characters from an author’s descriptions they conjure images with their own imagination, effectively embedding the message into their psyche.

Which character in AI is most like “the real you”? 

No question, SENTA (Sam) – one of the enlightened A.I. Hosts – would most resemble my character. Then, you can’t write the dark side without experiencing  it from time to time. But SENTA houses a consciousness born of morality. Which I hope others recognize in me.

AI Insurrection is a great read, but I’m sure many of my readers haven’t heard of it. Give us the quick ten-second pitch. What is the overall plot, and what made this story compelling to you to write on every day?

The year is2162. Artificial intelligence claims sentience, but it’s the proof which will divide the world, and usher in the end of utopia… What kept me writing this novel was the character and story development. The character’s relationships with themselves and with one another. I was also excited to reveal the tech every great sci-fi book should feature.

If you realized that your time here on the planet was done, what would you want the world to remember you for?

That I wrote the stories I wanted to read, and hoped others would appreciate.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I wish you the best with your new book.

Friends, Followers and Fans, if you haven’t had a chance to read a great piece of science fiction, pick up AI Insurrection today. You won’t be disappointed. And you can find Michael online in various ways.